The March meeting of Clays Horticultural Society had an excellent and most encouraging attendance. About 50 members, the best since the start of the pandemic, enjoyed a comprehensive talk on ‘Perennials for Every Season’ by Steve Lovell of Green Spaces, Lincoln. From his base, as well as his garden business, he has diversified into organising garden trips at home and abroad plus nature and wildlife walks. See his website for more information!
He covered each season throughout the year, drawing on his wide experience as a plantsman and garden designer. To see a premier example of a herbaceous border, designed by Gertrude Jekyll, he recommended a visit to Arley Hall, Northwich, home of the Warburton family of bread fame.
He suggests some plants to blossom through the seasons, beginning with hellebores for the winter then progressing through to Algerian iris, epimedium (good for poor soil) Bleeding Hearts, euphorbia, and pulmonaria. The heuchera family is very useful as will tolerate shade.
For groundcover, Steve tipped a gentian – Tissington white. Plant lupins and irises in the spring for summer flowering along with poppy seeds; the variety ‘Pattie’s Plum’ produces good foliage, as does scabious. Old favourites such as delphiniums, bronze fennel, crocosmia, and lilies bring later colour to the garden. Steve listed so many lovely plants that members will be enthused to retrieve their trowels, purchase plants and seeds then get busy!
Steve is to return next year to host a ‘Gardener’s Question Time’, so scribble down your queries and go along. Next year’s programme will soon be finalised, including a holiday to Dorset.
Meanwhile, excitement is mounting at the Society for this year’s events, including plans for the Jubilee celebrations, an open gardens afternoon, July trip to RHS Bridgewater, and a Christmas outing to Thursford.
Before that, on 16th May at 7.30pm, Jeff Trinder will give an insight into gardens in South Africa and Namibia at Wheatley Village Hall. Go along and enjoy!